WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) issued the following statement regarding today’s announcement from the U.S. Department of Labor that 200,000 jobs were created in December and the national unemployment rate now stands at 8.5 percent:
“There is no greater priority for Michigan and the country than job creation. To help spur economic growth and eliminate the uncertainty that slows down our recovery, the House last year approved 27 bipartisan bills as part of our House Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators. And we’re not stopping there – job creation and economic growth will remain top priorities for 2012. We will continue developing commonsense solutions that eliminate government barriers to growth and encourage private-sector investment and innovation to thrive.
“The House-passed Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act included important pro-jobs policies including reforms that will open up additional airwaves for wireless broadband, generating billions of dollars in auction revenue and new investment along with significant new jobs. We also continued our push for regulatory relief so that costly federal rules do not push more Americans onto the unemployment rolls. In the coming weeks, as we negotiate a final package to extend payroll tax relief and unemployment benefits for those struggling in this weak economy, we cannot lose sight of job creation as the utmost priority.
“Today’s report continues the trends we have seen in recent months: job growth and the unemployment rate are moving in the right direction, but not as quickly as we need to help the millions of Americans who cannot find a job in a still-weak economy. No one should be satisfied with where employment stands today, and that’s why we’ll keep working hard to grow faster and stronger. And no discussion of job-creation would be complete without acknowledging the tremendous jobs and energy security benefits that would come from approval and construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Today’s unemployment figures are a reminder that we still need every job we can get, and it’s time for President Obama to say yes to thousands of Keystone XL jobs.”